Functional Medicine with Dr. Margaret Christensen

About Dr. Margaret Christensen. 

An Institute for Functional Medicine faculty member for 12 years, Dr. Christensen first became interested in functional medicine 15 years ago when trying to solve the riddle of her and her family’s complex health challenges– unbeknownst to her at the time were consequences of severe toxic mold exposure. She became intimately familiar with Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Autoimmune, Hormonal, Neurological and Psychiatric consequences of unrecognized Biotoxin illness. A board-certified OB-GYN for 23 years, her initial boutique Functional Medicine practice has grown into The Carpathia Collaborative, a large multidisciplinary, FM Practice based in Dallas and covering the full spectrum of complex chronic disease. The practice provides 360 degree functional lifestyle and nutritional medicine and includes an onsite teaching kitchen, yoga studio and education library that also serves as the site for community-learning events. Dr. Christensen is passionate about educating her clients and colleagues about root cause, whole-systems medicine! 

Podcast transcript:

Dr Pedram Shojai: Welcome to the urban monk podcast. Dr. Pedram, Shojai excited to be here. I’m thinking about why. I missed podcasting so much and why I love podcasting so much. And it occurred to me that, for very selfish reasons, I get to get smarter. I get to talk to some of the most brilliant people on planet earth in different subject matter expertise. And spend 45 to 60 something minutes. With them downloading the essence of their life’s work. And so it’s like a distillation process where I’m asking a brilliant person what their brilliance is all about, downloading that in a digestible way and getting to share that with you, with my listeners. And so I’ve been podcasting and putting a bunch in the bank and Getting ready to. Distribute them all to you. And I got to say, I feel smarter. I feel smarter having spoken with these people and learn what I’ve learned and I’m feeling very good about sharing this with you. So without further ado dr margaret Christianson, a folder work she’s been around the functional medicine block big on mold big on functional hormones really has some important things to say about why we possibly don’t feel well and just brilliant in her delivery so let’s get into this podcast i really enjoyed it and i learned a lot looking forward to sharing it with you

Dr Pedram Shojai: Welcome to the podcast. I’m excited to have you here.

Margaret Christensen: Thank you so much for inviting me.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Yeah. Listen, I’m a big fan of your work. I think that the things that you’ve been digging up are really important. And, with the caveat of, I think there’s a lot of sky is falling type of messaging out there. If it bleeds, it reads that, yeah.

Dr Pedram Shojai: scares people into, I don’t know, buying products or whatever the heck it is. But then there’s the reality beyond all the hyperbole, which is also scary. And what I want to do is I want to empower my listeners to know what to look out for. So that they are aware, yet not orthorexic and freaked out all the time because, everything is poison and the sky is falling.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Let’s get into you because you’re a notable, a well noted published functional medicine doctor. But you were a traditional gal before all this. I’d love to talk about how you ended up in this type of conversation.

Margaret Christensen: Sure. I’m an OBGYN by my original training. I’m board certified OBGYN and I was practicing for 10 years and then found myself getting more and more fatigued, sicker and sicker. I just, my brain wasn’t working. I couldn’t get up. I couldn’t, figure out how to take a shower. And that, something was really wrong.

Margaret Christensen: Now this was on top of 16 years of sleep deprivation in my, from training and having had four children of my own and, breastfeeding in the middle of the night and jumping up and delivering over the babies in emergency. So I mean that is certainly all a component of it. And I but I knew that something was really wrong.

Margaret Christensen: I couldn’t, I, like I said, I was hurting all over. I couldn’t sleep despite how fatigued I was. Went to see all my colleagues. Great, wonderful compassionate people. And everybody just said, Oh, honey, here you are. Here’s your antidepressants. You’re just depressed. And you go see the physical therapist and take some payments.

Margaret Christensen: And and two years later, I’m still just I couldn’t function and end up having to close my practice. From there, it took eight years to figure out what was wrong. And it turned out I had severe environmental poisoning with toxic mold, as did my whole family. Everybody was sick. But again, I had no clue nothing.

Margaret Christensen: The kids had, ADD, ear infections, asthma, migraines. Husband was super depressed, incredibly irritable. Him having neuropsychiatric issues himself. And and then two kids along the autism spectrum. And that was, when they were young they’re all grown adults now.

Margaret Christensen: And unfortunately my two youngest still suffered the consequences. It turned out I had toxic mold exposures, which is probably one of the most common environmental exposures in homes as well as office buildings. 50 percent of homes and 60 percent of office, and commercial buildings have had some water damage of some sort.

Margaret Christensen: And so if you don’t know that and everybody’s getting sick and you’re going to the doctor and getting lots of different antibiotics and and, different medications and asthma meds and A. D. Meds. It becomes a problem. And so that’s what we were dealing with. And I had a friend who ended up giving me some vitamins two years into this.

Margaret Christensen: And I was like, I rolled my eyes and said, Oh, that’s expensive urine because that’s what we’re taught in medical school. And and I got better and then I quit taking them because I felt better and then I crashed again. And that’s when I went down into the functional medicine route.

Margaret Christensen: I had a good friend of mine who was another OBGYN was In the forefront of that arena. And so that’s how I started. And I just started, frankly, I had a big giant practice for my OB GYN. I had nurse midwives we had, delivering lots of babies. And I had to close it. And then a couple of years later, I started in the closet.

Margaret Christensen: Literally in the back of functional medicine compounding pharmacy and started learning about bioidentical hormones and and that, but it took actually eight years from when I stopped working to figure out that it was toxic mold. And it was a re exposure that caused it. And then I looked back and saw, and started learning and understanding all the disruptions that cause in neuropsychiatric systems, autoimmune issues hormonal disruption, gut disruptions, et cetera.

Margaret Christensen: And that just led me into the whole path of environmental toxins in general and how they disrupt hormones. It’s been a long journey and but that’s what I do. We have a large practice now that focuses across the spectrum. We do a lot of also, wellness and anti aging and that, that type of stuff, but part of it is learning how to detoxify.

Dr Pedram Shojai: I want to get into the usual suspects. As we go, but mold is obviously a big one. You said, most homes and offices have it. What is it about mold that makes it so noxious to the human body?

Margaret Christensen: And again, there are, now we’re talking about, we’re talking about mold that grows on water damaged. papers and books and organic material inside tight buildings. We’re not, I’m not talking about outdoor molds. Okay. So those are two totally different things. But they produce mycotoxins. So these are little tiny, what we call biotoxins.

Margaret Christensen: Other biotoxins would be things like pesticides, heavy metals, plastics, And again, many of the chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis, but so these biotoxins, mold in particular, but all of them that we’re talking about end up causing disruption to multiple different levels of the hormonal system.

Margaret Christensen: For one thing, they can act like. our own hormones. They look like or they can pretend to be some of our own hormones. And so therein lies the disruption. With toxic mold in particular, you’re breathing it in. And so it’s impacting the immune system in the lungs and turning it on. And again, creating Mhm.

Margaret Christensen: A lot of immune system disturbance in the lungs. And we know that people with toxic mold exposures got a lot sicker during covid. So that’s one thing. You’re also breathing it in through your nose where your olfactory nerve is. It goes right back into your olfactory nerve. There’s your smelling nerve that goes right back into your limbic system in your brain that has the hypothalamus, your master regulatory center that triggers the pituitary gland to tell you what to do with your hormones and the amygdala, which is your fight or flight center.

Margaret Christensen: And the hippocampus was your memory center. And so when you’re breathing in these these mycotoxins, they actually, they literally like dissolve cell membranes. They are very pro inflammatory. They and they create a lot of inflammation. So you’re inflaming your brain, you’re inflaming your olfactory nerve, you’re inflaming the area that actually controls hormonal systems.

Margaret Christensen: And this not just molds either. If you’re breathing, if you’re, living in a city with Lots of exposure to highways and, gasoline fumes and diesel and exhaust fumes, the people in Pennsylvania that were the big train that blew up with it, with all the dioxins, all of those were when we’re breathing those ends, we have lung impact and we have direct brain impact through the olfactory nerve right into the brain into the limbic system, which controls everything.

Margaret Christensen: Reptile.

Dr Pedram Shojai: So is it, so just to speak clear, so there’s a, obviously a membrane between the nerve and the nose. So how has the actual nerve, is it because the mycotoxins are crossing into the body and actually impacting the nerve and getting into the nervous system?

Margaret Christensen: That’s, this is a good question. Again, biotoxins. And I’m speaking about all the things that I just mentioned, not just mycotoxins and we’re going to throw a spike protein in there too. It doesn’t matter where it came from. If you got it directly from getting COVID or getting from the the theoretical prevention for it, which did not prevent treat or COVID 19.

Margaret Christensen: anything for it. So what’s happening is that you have a cell membrane is made of two layers. It’s got water layer, water soluble layer on the outside and it’s fat on the inside. There are little fatty layers like it’s olive oil on the inside. And so biotoxins are fat soluble toxins that get trapped in the membranes and they disrupt the function of the membranes.

Margaret Christensen: That’s where you have your cell receptors. That’s where things come in and out of the cell. Also, your mitochondria. So people, heard about mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, they also have that same double lipid membrane and with the same olive oil layer in between. The water soluble layers and that’s where the toxins get trapped and then you turn that olive oil into lard and so you can, you no longer are able to have a good membrane function and then that’s how things get disrupted.

Margaret Christensen: And then when you start disrupting your mitochondria, that’s where you trigger all your autoimmunity. issues. Your mitochondria fall apart, they break apart, they’re releasing all kinds of toxic chemicals and the whole cell falls apart and then it triggers immune system dysfunction. So we have immune system dysfunction, neurological dysfunction, gut dysfunction is another huge piece of it.

Margaret Christensen: And then you get sick all the time. So what do you get, Get put on antibiotics and then the antibiotics disrupt your microbiome and then you’re just in a vicious cycle of fungal overgrowth From yeast overgrowth from taking the antibiotics and antibiotics are derived from mycotoxins.

Margaret Christensen: That’s what penicillin is Penicillium, it’s a mold, right? So So anyway, so that’s the mechanism. It’s actually It’s impacting the cell membrane function

Dr Pedram Shojai: Mycotoxins do this. What about like forever chemicals or, the perfumes, all of them do the same thing.

Margaret Christensen: So it’s a similar, it’s a similar mechanism just happen to be micro toxins happen to be some of the, they’re used in chemical warfare,

Dr Pedram Shojai: Yeah, very specifically to communicate and fend off other, it has nothing to do with us really. It’s they live in their own bubble and we’re walking into it kind of thing. So you got sick, you took some vitamins, curious what you took and then went back in the same environment, got punched again and then realized you had to, Deal with the exposure.

Margaret Christensen: right?

Dr Pedram Shojai: what, and then in your house, when people think mold, it’s like, Oh my God, look at that big black mold behind the wall. There’s some very pronounced cases of mold inside the home. And then there’s everyone else’s home that has a little bit here and there that may be enough to get you.

Dr Pedram Shojai: So curious what was happening in your home.

Margaret Christensen: It just, it really just depends. It really depends on how full somebody’s toxic bucket is and whether in terms of whether or not they’re going to be respond. So if you already have. genetic susceptibilities for slow detox pathways like I did. If you already have lots of sleep deprivation and, high stress hormone levels if you already have a poor diet and lack of nutrients, and genetically you may need a whole lot, for example, more B vitamins or glutathione than your body’s capable of.

Margaret Christensen: capable of making. That’s where the problem comes in. And so some people may not be affected at all. Whereas somebody who’s toxic bucket is already super full, they just have a small exposure and things. But yeah. That’s just one piece of it.

Dr Pedram Shojai: What do people tend to experience as symptoms? I got people right now thinking, huh, wonder if that’s me. What would you look for in your symptom profile? What would you look for to say, wow, I should probably look further into this.

Margaret Christensen: Again, what I asked for is, for example, if you’ve had a recurrent chronic sinus infections, that right there is a big tip off. A lot of allergies, skin breakouts, just feeling again, terrible brain fog. I can’t think straight. I’m, memory loss. I’m losing things.

Margaret Christensen: Any really, autoimmune issues and triggering thyroid issues or Hashimoto’s. So fatigue, fibromyalgia. I had severe fibromyalgia. So my whole body was hurting. And then despite the fact that I was exhausted, I could not sleep. So those are something neuropsychiatric symptoms are another one.

Margaret Christensen: So severe anxiety is very common and then anxiety turns into depression. And and then if you’re looking at things like Bipolar disorder. Amazing how many people and people schizophrenia also and hallucinations especially if it’s sudden onset or later onset in life, those are some things that I look at.

Margaret Christensen: Hormonal disruption is completely, is so common. Again, so we’re disrupting the hormonal pathways again, like I said, through the Directly through which we call the HPA axis, the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis that is linked to the limbic system. But also, a lot of people don’t realize that the gastrointestinal tract is incredibly involved in hormonal disruptions.

Margaret Christensen: Again, any of these biotoxins, not just mold just poor air quality in general, also are impacting the gastrointestinal tract where your hormones are metabolized and excreted. Anything along those lines. So again, heavy bleeding, fibroids, endometriosis infertility issues, low sperm count I already mentioned, depression, migraines, it can be a whole host of neurological symptoms, anything autoimmune, I just try and get a good history.

Margaret Christensen: How many different places have you lived? Have has you ever had, major water leaks or any flooding in the area? And how sick is everybody else in the house? You again, what about your kids? Are they having ADD? Are they are they having chronic ear infections? Again, sinus infections, bladder infections.

Margaret Christensen: That’s an, that’s another common thing. And is everybody just irritable and sick and crazy all the time? Yeah. So

Dr Pedram Shojai: like everyone I know,

Margaret Christensen: yeah so it’s just it’s pretty common.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Okay, so obviously rule number one is get the crap out of the house. I’m assuming there are ways you would suspect, and listen, there’s a lot of culprits, right? There might be radon, formaldehyde, all the stuff on the furniture. And so how do you go about diagnosing someone’s house so that you can cut off the exposure?

Dr Pedram Shojai: And then let’s talk about what you do as a doctor to start cleaning up the cells.

Margaret Christensen: I would highly recommend that folks go to the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness, so I S E A I dot org. Because that’s a kind of a big picture look and it has some ideas of some of the do do it yourself things that you can, start thinking about or looking at.

Margaret Christensen: But what you want is really a qualified inspector to come and look. You can there’s another company that’s called immunolytics. com. You can get some Petri dishes from them. Don’t buy them from Home Depot or from, the big box stores. You, you need some, some quality. We do dust sampling that are called ERMI tests environmental relative mold index And there’s a couple of good companies out there that you can do that to access in your home.

Margaret Christensen: But on iseai. org, it gives you a lot, a kind of long list of what to look for, what to, go around your house. What do you look for? And and then you can locate a qualified. professional to come out and look. There’s a lot of scams in the industry. You don’t want somebody who is inspecting your house to also be involved in making profit or money off the remediation.

Dr Pedram Shojai: They tend to find more stuff, don’t they?

Margaret Christensen: Yeah no, or they, yeah and there’s, and, also the remediators of a lot of really poor quality of work out there and you can make yourself sicker doing that.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Okay. Yeah, we, there was a, there’s a building biology organization now. There’s, there, there are a number of people. Stepping into this as we’re realizing kind of the magnitude of the problem. And so you need a professional is what I’m hearing here. And you figure it out.

Margaret Christensen: Ideally, and this can be a costly process and, it’s just so important to take a deep breath. One day at a time to get really centered every day. To understand that we have a powerful inner healer that will direct and guide our healing process in our bodies if we take out what’s toxic and put in what’s missing.

Margaret Christensen: I think that’s the very first thing and to have a lot of hope that you can recover from all of this.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Hey, I hope you’re enjoying the podcast. We’ll be back to it in one minute. Just wanted to share with you that I’ve opened up my urban monk reboot. To the world for free. It has helped well over a hundred thousand people. And counting and it’s just chalk full of resources for mindfulness diet, exercise, sleep. All the places where I’ve found thousands and thousands of patients get stuck on the lifestyle wheel over the years, created this a free resource to help you find your way out. Seven days, seven topics, lots of really cool resources and free. How’s that for a price? Go to the urban and you’ll check out the reboot right there. A. That’ll be all over the page. And I’m looking forward to seeing you in there.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Love that. Love that. Yeah. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and shut down around all this, right? Especially if it’s going to cost a gajillion dollars, you got enough stress already, I can’t handle this. Okay. So we get the bad guy out of the house, whatever that is. Maybe it’s a combo of toxins, but we’ve cleaned up the house.

Dr Pedram Shojai: It’s it now feels safe. Where we dwell now, what do you do as a doctor to start helping the body heal and repair these cells and get back in black?

Margaret Christensen: well, and before I answer that question I just also want to mention that. When you’re working with biotoxins, these are fats these fat soluble biotoxins that accumulate over time. And whether or not we’re talking mold, heavy metals, et cetera, one of the most common sources of heavy metals is vaccines.

Margaret Christensen: And that, so it may not be the current house that you’re in. It may be previous exposures. It may be your car. It may be the place that you’re working. So let’s just be clear that might be the case. And that’s, and it accumulates over time. You just need to know to look to test for it.

Margaret Christensen: So we test for it, but we do there’s various, there’s different blood tests, there’s urine mycotoxin tests, there’s a couple of different companies that do it. My preference is the real time urine mycotoxin test from real time labs, which is in Dallas. And then in terms of you know how to get rid of it we start with again, opening up what we call our drainage pathways or detox pathways, your lymphatic system.

Margaret Christensen: You have to do things like dry skin brushing and open that up. You’ve got to heal your gastrointestinal tract. So if you’re having IBS issues severe constipation or diarrhea or a lot of inflammation in the gut, then that has to be repaired. And we have you know, lots of gut healing protocols.

Margaret Christensen: I’m sure you’ve had plenty of people on the show talking about, how to do gut healing. And I think the number one thing is you start with is trying to eat as organic as possible. Stop eating processed foods, stop eating sugar, stop eating fats that are pro inflammatory. So we start there and working on healing the gastrointestinal tract.

Margaret Christensen: If you’re having a lot of anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, et cetera, we try and really work with calming the mind, using a lot of things that recommend all the time. Mindfulness meditation. We may do limbic system retraining, but we have to get you out of fight or flight all the time.

Margaret Christensen: And there’s medications that we can use for that. Things like antihistamines and hydroxyzine to help can help calm things down. Lots of botanicals that can help calm things down. So I try and get folks sleep and gut. working first and get their lymphatic systems open. And then we start upregulating their detoxification pathways.

Margaret Christensen: And there’s again, lots of things that we can use for that. NAC, glutathione, these are all things that our body would normally produce, but sometimes we need, more. The methylated B vitamins are critically important for this. So we will start upregulating that. And then then we’ll use binders, things like charcoal, zeolite, chlorella even a certain probiotics that have a binding capacity.

Margaret Christensen: So as your body starts moving these toxins, we can bind them up. Now, I in our practice, we use a lot of something called phosphatidylcholine. And also butyrate to help dissolve the the old damaged cell membranes and do a lipid exchange. So it’s doing a whole body fat exchange over time.

Margaret Christensen: Lots of good fats are really important for us. BS about cholesterol being bad is just, oh my gosh, don’t even get me started. Particularly for women, that’s where all your hormones come from. And so we want lots of good, healthy fats, things like coconut oil, olive oils no seed oils unless you’re getting pure organic, cold pressed.

Margaret Christensen: And phosphatidylcholine is again, a piece of that, things like ghee, which is a form of clarified butter. So we want, again, lots of good fats too. create new healthy cell membranes. And then things to wash. The butyrate helps to dissolve these this lard that’s inside the cell membranes inside the mitochondria.

Margaret Christensen: And then we wash it out using glutathione. And we may want some nice liver support with things like bile salts or Tudka to help move it out of the body. And then you want to bind it up when it gets into the gut. So you’re not recirculating it. But you want to have a good, healthy microbiome, a good, healthy bacteria in there before you start doing all this stuff.

Margaret Christensen: And that’s the biggest challenge that I see is that a lot of people start moving biotoxins before, not in the correct order, and then you get sicker. All of those things are are helpful and useful.

Dr Pedram Shojai: So what I’m hearing here, and I want to just make sure the audience gets this is. All the stuff we talked about is going on inside of, a lot of people in the Western world, but the person who goes to a traditional doctor and says, I don’t feel well and they run a hormone panel and they go, Oh, look at this, your hormones are off and then they start using hormones to treat.

Dr Pedram Shojai: This individual that’s on chapter nine of this book, right? What the good doctor just talked about had a lot of liver detoxification, gut healing getting micro micronutrients and B vitamins supporting the body’s systems and most functional medicine docs. If you’re listening to this and you haven’t really been to a functional medicine, it’ll put someone through an elimination provocation diet before their first visit, because.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Unless these systems are working, you don’t even know what the hell you’re looking at before you start managing hormones.

Margaret Christensen: That is absolutely right. I had a guy who came in last year who I’ve been treating his wife and she’s been on the program and doing well, but he just didn’t want to believe that was an issue for him. Terrible testosterone issues, terrible brain fog, having memory issues. He’s only 52.

Margaret Christensen: Really irritable, depressed and and is going to see his conventional doctor who told him to stop everything I’ve told him to do and until he fixes his testosterone. He can’t fix his testosterone. It’s not, you’re not going to fix it until you start fixing the HPA axis and dealing with all this stuff.

Margaret Christensen: Yeah, and and the other thing I would say. The last part of that equation is also resuscitating your mitochondria. So if you’re having a lot of fatigue issues and fibromyalgia issues and chronic pain, mystery illnesses, pot syndrome those are all things that again, all the neural degenerative neurological diseases are mitochondrial in nature.

Margaret Christensen: Then we need to resuscitate the mitochondria, but you have to create healthy cell membranes first and mitochondrial membranes. And that’s what the PC is doing. And then you can start adding things like NAD and again, just my good mitochondrial support to help start regenerating energy. We use a lot of also I.

Margaret Christensen: V. Ozone, I. V. Vitamin C, etcetera. But this is what long haul. Cove. It is long haul. Cove. It is really no different than any of these other biotoxin illnesses. We have triggered a a massive immune system dysfunctional response and have toxins in our body that have thrown all the systems off, maybe created autoimmunity, created hormonal possible hormone disruptions, created neurological issues, created neuropsychiatric issues, chronic stress issues.

Margaret Christensen: So all this, anything I’ve just said can also can be applied to a long haul COVID. We’re seeing more long haul COVID in people who’ve been vaccinated than haven’t.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Yeah, that’s interesting. Yeah. And listen, there’s a lot of people that have mystery illnesses now that are going to, head scratching doctors who are going down the same traditional algorithms.

Margaret Christensen: Unbelievable. Unbelievable. What we are seeing now post COVID and it’s something I’ve never seen before. I’ve been in medicine for 32 years and, what I’m seeing now in terms of the level of infertility, miscarriages. Fetal stillbirths PCOS, endometriosis, women who’ve been on, hormone replacement therapy for a number of years, menopausal, no issues, all of a sudden starting bleeding.

Margaret Christensen: The strokes, the myocarditis, the the, it’s just it’s crazy. And the thing is that we can address those, but if you don’t know that’s what it is and you don’t understand that and you don’t understand the mechanisms of, how we’ve triggered, the immune system response.

Margaret Christensen: hard to fix.

Dr Pedram Shojai: There’s specific markers you’re looking for in the blood. Are these traditional labs that people can ask for if they went to their traditional doc and say, Hey, I need to know this. That’s always been the issue too, is some of the esoteric testing that happens in the functional medicine world isn’t covered by insurance.

Dr Pedram Shojai: And, it just becomes this kind of money conversation quickly and it, sets people off.

Margaret Christensen: One of the basic simple t

Margaret Christensen: D level. And that, th and to try and keep your up around, at l know that people who have D with any viral expo by the way, biotoxins,

Margaret Christensen: ag I would consider in t thing. So no, no matter what from whatever virus. And we’re seeing a lot of Epstein Barr virus too. So I would get an Epstein Barr virus panel to see if you’ve got active C reactive protein. That’s a marker for chronic inflammation in the body. There are things like TGF beta.

Margaret Christensen: That’s a, that’s an inflammatory marker. It’s a nonspecific one, but it can tell you how much inflammation is going on about now. What’s real interesting is that particular marker lab core just changed. Yeah. The upper limits of normal used to be 3, 000. Now it’s 23, 000.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Oops.

Margaret Christensen: Why

Dr Pedram Shojai: one way to deal with a

Margaret Christensen: now? Yeah. Yeah. And so we’re seeing that all, we’re, we’re seeing that a lot. Fibrinogen is another good marker. A D dimer. That, that’s another marker. Now these aren’t, specific necessarily to mold itself. But but to get chronic inflammation and blood clotting issues that we are seeing now post covid because now we already have the issues with, air, water, food quality.

Margaret Christensen: before COVID ever hit. And that’s why so many Americans got so sick compared to other places in the world. It’s real interesting. A lot of third world countries, nobody died. Very few people because they don’t have some of the first world challenges that we do of a total body burden of too much crap.

Margaret Christensen: And yeah so those blood markers would be, yeah, D. Dimer, fibrinogen. You may want to get an an ANA, so that’s an autoimmune marker and some of the kind of fallout panels from the, those are pretty common ones that we can look at. We’re seeing antiphospholipid syndromes and those are additional markers that, that folks can look for.

Margaret Christensen: There’s some esoteric markers too, again some additional ones that you can get. It may not be relevant right at this moment, but iseai. org has, again, a lot of different Bye. things that we can do. And again, the testing that you can do both on your house and again, finding practitioners who are familiar with environmental illness.

Dr Pedram Shojai: And then how long is the road out? You’re on this road. You throw your thumb up and you say, get me the heck out of this. How long, if someone has all this kind of mast cell activation

Margaret Christensen: Yeah, mass. So Yeah, thank you. Yeah, you get mass cell activation is super, super common in this and we’re seeing it worse and worse to just, we have more again, E. M. F. S. Also impacting cell membrane function and also we’re seeing a lot more of that. And we’re seeing a lot of mass cell activation syndrome in post covid.

Margaret Christensen: Part of it again depends on how full is your toxic bucket when you started. And I tell people it’s going to take, at least per year you’ve been sick at, a minimum of three to six, three months of recovery depending on how well you’re doing with your, cleaning up your diet doing things, simple things, sweating there’s some stuff that you can do all by yourself, sweating, dry skin brushing.

Margaret Christensen: Yeah, again, making sure that you have a good bowel function, trying to improve the quality of your sleep. So again, depending on how you’re doing that stress management depends on how quickly you turn around, if you’ve been sick for 10 years, which I mean, I see, we see a lot of people here who have been sick for long periods of time, but again, a lot of chronic illnesses or mystery illnesses, et cetera.

Margaret Christensen: Then, you can’t expect an overnight turnaround and that’s where all the work that you do comes in, which is again, focusing on hope. On wellness, making yourself laugh every day, doesn’t matter what, turn off the damn news, you’re being fed just complete crap. On, on all the legacy mainstream media we are, you are learning nothing and you are being kept in a chronic state of fear.

Margaret Christensen: So you want to, be listening to podcasts like yours and doing, prayerful meditation, mindfulness, those kinds of things. If you’re doing those things, you’re going to recover a lot quicker. Be in community with other people who are also helping to recover.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Yeah, it’s hard. I, I’ve surrounded myself with like minded individuals for the most part. And it makes perfect sense when we go to dinner that my kids just get water, right? Whereas the other families are So of course they get soda, right? And so there’s this whole, battery of decisions that happen in the kind of the lifestyle matrix that are more difficult if you’re hanging out with people that allow it.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Same thing with devices, right? For the kids. Oh they get their iPad, they get their games. For us we don’t. So our hygiene is different, which means it requires us to hang with people oftentimes who have similar belief systems. So our kids don’t feel like they’re. Losers for not playing video games too early.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Same thing with food. Same thing with how you order at dinner. Same thing with, who you are in your community. And look, 20 years ago, all this stuff was weird. You’re just a woo hippie for even mentioning this stuff. Now, you walk into any restaurant USA and they know what gluten means.

Dr Pedram Shojai: How much of that are you seeing, by the way? There’s, there seems to be a precipitous rise in people who are having intolerance to certain foods like gluten, dairy, the usual suspects, how much of the toxic load is contributing to the system faltering? Or is it the breakdown of the mucin layer in the gut that’s doing it?

Dr Pedram Shojai: Like, why are these systems starting to break down downstream?

Margaret Christensen: I think that again, we can start with genetically modified foods, which is the vast majority of our food supply now. And everything’s also been corn based. If anybody’s ever read the Omnivore’s Dilemma so all the corn in this country 95 percent of it is genetically modified, which means that you’ve taken a bacteria that come, that You’ve taken genetics from a bacteria, spliced it into a virus, then you splice that into a plant.

Margaret Christensen: So now that plant, that corn plant or that soy plant, does not die when it’s sprayed with Roundup. It keeps growing. It kills all the weeds around it, but the corn itself keeps growing. Right there we have that’s the, I think probably one of the biggest Factors that happened and that happened in the 1990s when genetic modification became completely part of our food supply and we saw a logarithmic increase.

Margaret Christensen: So now you have foods that are completely covered in pesticides, which are hormonal disruptors. They act just, that was one of the things I mentioned in the beginning, pesticides and are act like hormone disruptors and it’s a neurological disruptors and it triggers immune system to function.

Margaret Christensen: So we all know that 80 percent of our immune system is in our gastrointestinal tract. You start disrupting that and sending these signals to these, to our immune system and immune system dysfunction in the gut. That’s what triggers the problem. So that’s why if you can eat local, find your own, organic whoever your farmer is close by, start farmers markets.

Margaret Christensen: People need to start growing their own foods, work in community churches. Even in big cities, you should see what’s happening. It’s amazing. And in some of the underserved areas, people have stepped forward and created places where you can get good, healthy, real food. food. We don’t have real food anymore.

Margaret Christensen: I travel a lot and on the road and stopping at some places out in the middle of nowhere, you walk into a the gas station, there’s nothing that resembles food in there. So that’s the first place that’s disrupting, like you said, the mucin layer. And the, so the genetic modification itself is recognized as being completely abnormal.

Margaret Christensen: And then you have the pesticides with it. So those two things together are triggering it. And then we are loading our children. With so many chemicals through the number of vaccines that there we are receiving, I was born in 1960 by the time I was 18, we got a total of six vaccines, and now Children get a total because they’ve added covid to the schedule, a total of 77 different vaccines and all of those things are filled and loaded with formaldehydes again, heavy metals, aluminum, they theoretically took the thimerosal or mercury out of, kids vaccines, but all of that stuff, you put those things together, the genetically modified foods and the excessive amount of vaccines that we are demanding and Parents need to stand up, say, no, learn, go to learn the risk.

Margaret Christensen: org or physicians for informed consent. org and learn and understand we have been brainwashed to believe that they’re helpful. It’s not, it’s creating a, a pipeline of forever money for the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Yeah, it’s great business. By a lawmaker, make it law.

Margaret Christensen: I love that. That

Dr Pedram Shojai: it’s,

Margaret Christensen: is the truth.

Dr Pedram Shojai: that, listen that’s the best business in town is the one that, the army the army enforces. And so this has been, our systems have been usurped. Our food system has been usurped. The medical system is in shambles and people aren’t feeling well.

Dr Pedram Shojai: And they’re going down the same traditional paths trying to find solutions and, are justifiably frustrated

Margaret Christensen: and again, with conventional medicine, that’s how I was trained. I was completely pro vaccine. Back in the day. And I didn’t understand, this was, 20 years ago, 25 years ago, why would people say no or whatever? I would and then as I learn and particularly as I started seeing the HPV vaccine and the young women now in their twenties that I’d never seen before coming down with all kinds of autoimmune issues.

Margaret Christensen: That I’d never seen before. That’s when I really started investigating, looking, and then having two children on the autism spectrum. One with very severe neuropsychiatric issues. Severely schizoaffected, that’s schizophrenia and bipolar at the same time, with autism.

Margaret Christensen: And he’s 31 and he’s been hospitalized 46 times in our revolving door system. On, antipsychotics that don’t work. So this is what led me to such deep passion to understanding where did this all come from? So I knew that one of the triggers, one of the big triggers here was toxic moles.

Margaret Christensen: And I learned about the food and, the organic and the, genetic modification, what that meant and pesticides and chemicals. And I used to think, Oh my God, we used to bomb our house with. Flea, flea bomb. Back in the day, my babies would crawl around on the floor after, after it like, Oh, my God, I was thinking they were eating healthy and I had no idea.

Margaret Christensen: So the good news is that there are a lot of resources out. There’s a lot of solutions out there a lot of positivity and a lot of reason for hope. And our bodies can recover and can repair themselves. Okay,

Dr Pedram Shojai: Hey, can you you said a lot of reasons for hope and then you froze for a second. Can you just say whatever you said after a lot of reasons for

Margaret Christensen: Okay, I’m trying to remember. Yeah, that’s okay. There’s a lot of reasons for hope because There are so many people now who are waking up and understanding all these different issues. And whether it’s in the food sector and creating, again, local farming communities, there’s a huge burgeoning growth in integrative functional medicine.

Margaret Christensen: A lot of, again, naturopaths and chiropractors and health coaches. know a lot more, unfortunately, than our MDs, which is so sad. And it’s amazing how many MDs who have come to see me as a client are like they’re just so depressed. So there are a lot of good people out there and a lot of good people like you, again, working on the psychospiritual.

Margaret Christensen: And I can’t remember who wrote blessed unrest. That is a great book to give you hope about all the little pockets of things that are going on around the world, recognizing and waking up that we have been co opted by big media, big ag, big pharma, big banking. All this. And that’s who runs our governments.

Margaret Christensen: And so start electing your local officials to bringing this stuff up, clean up your school classrooms, put air filters in every, so that’s what I would, tell you, again, get good quality air filter, get, water filters, all of these things we need to be doing in our homes, but also in our schools, in our churches.

Margaret Christensen: And so those are the things you start talking to one another, create community because it’s in community that we can, that we can create change and also you have to maintain a sense of humor and be, be willing to laugh even in the face of really dark things and and again, to really come from the heart and and to listen and to come from a point and a place of peace.

Margaret Christensen: So whatever your faith background or spiritual background, really, I think, leaning into that in community, those are the things that we can do. And that’s the hope. And our body has incredible intelligence. If we are able to give it what it needs and take out what it doesn’t need anymore.

Dr Pedram Shojai: I’ve seen this tens of thousands of times at this point. I could definitively say it works, right? You’ve seen thousands and thousands of patients clinically and, you do summits and all that. When you take somebody and you get the inputs out, right? The toxic inputs, you clean up their house, clean up what, we have a saying in martial arts, you stand in the ring long enough, you’re getting punched in the face, right?

Dr Pedram Shojai: You clean out the stuff, right? And then start cleaning up your food. In your water, you’ve obviously cleaned up your environment. You clean up your stress levels within a month or two. What happens is what’s it seems miraculous, but it’s predictable at this point is people start having more energy. More enthusiasm than they can reinvest that into motivation to move more and do more.

Dr Pedram Shojai: And it becomes an upward spiral much more quickly than you think. And so if you’re listening to this, feeling overwhelmed, the answer is get moving. Because once you pick up a little bit of momentum, the entire universe will conspire to help you once you’re in the right game, right? You got to spring the trap though.

Margaret Christensen: Absolutely.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Yeah, we have and look, if there’s the fortunate few that can afford to go see excellent doctors, fly to Dallas or whatever and say, okay, can I please be your patient, help me. And then there’s the masses who say functional medicine is rich person’s medicine. And they are driven through the podcasts and the summits and all this kind of stuff with, I think a lot of disparate advice and a lot of times the health media tends to go towards things that people haven’t heard before that are esoteric versus focusing on the simple things that we’ve talked about here first.

Dr Pedram Shojai: So I just really appreciate your approach on that because it really isn’t the esoteric far off new technology That’s going to solve this problem.

Margaret Christensen: not. Artificial intelligence is not going to solve it. Wearing a glucose monitor is not going to solve it. Getting a fancy wristwatch is not going to solve it. Just changing, stopping eating sugar and alcohol and eating more green things. And Yeah. And some fermented foods like sauerkraut, if you don’t have mast cells.

Margaret Christensen: It’s pretty simple, turn off the television. That’s right. Go outside, look up at the stars. If you can see them go sit by a tree, go sit by a lake. You stick your feet in some mud to get some probiotics. It doesn’t have to be that, it doesn’t have to be that bad and just, yeah, absolutely.

Margaret Christensen: The inputs are so important. Positive. Uplifting, nourishing great songs. Sing! Sing! That activates your vagus nerve. And the vagus nerve is so important in helping to coordinate all the body’s functions. And it feeds right into the limbic system and the brain. Sing, laugh, smile get together with people.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Dr. Margaret Christensen. Where can people find you if they are seeking out a Doctor to help them.

Margaret Christensen: Yeah we’re at CarpathiaCollaborative. com. Carpathia is that was the ship that picked up the survivors of the Titanic. We have the Titanic of Western medicine just treating the tip of the iceberg instead of really paying attention. Carpathia is C A R P A T H I A and the word collaborative.

Margaret Christensen: I’m no longer taking clients however, I have a whole team here that have we’ve all trained together and we meet weekly and but it really, our focus is now on, on wellness, on creating hormonal balance on again, healthy longevity and again, helping to turn around chronic illness, but just, start with all the other things that we just talked about an elimination diet, eating organic getting rid of crap in your house inspecting it and turning off the television.

Dr Pedram Shojai: I love your message. I love the simplicity and the depth of it. It’s look it’s work But it’s your work, right? Like you, if you want to feel better, this is how you do it. Now, you could listen to a thousand more podcasts and summits, or you can just get to work. And usually, the people who get to work are the ones who get better.

Dr Pedram Shojai: So thank you so much for your time and really appreciate the work that you’re doing.

Margaret Christensen: Thank you.

Dr Pedram Shojai: I think that was.

squadcaster-6gcg_2_09-06-2023_095949: Okay. And then, okay. So just go ahead and mention your other website.

Marget Christensen: Yeah, the other place that you can really find all the information that you can start on a do it yourself fashion is mold detox And we have a video series that are for lay people as well as we have an advanced course on autoimmunity, biotoxins, mold, and mast cells syn symptoms that is for practitioners.

Marget Christensen: Both can be

Dr Pedram Shojai: Wonderful. Thank you.

Dr Pedram Shojai: Okay there, we have it really hope you enjoyed this podcast as much as I did. Oh, look, somebody. Right now out there, who’s suffering from hormonal dysregulation. Somebody right now who may be having really bad. Reverse reactions to mold toxins inside their environment. We know these folks they’re everywhere and the problem is the traditional medical system. Isn’t picking it up. It’s not equipped to pick it up and frankly, they don’t have time to deal with complex issues. They need to move you through the waiting room, move you through the place, so the business of medicine doesn’t know how to handle the nuances of illness, the way it should. And so it’s on us. I am a physician by trade bringing brilliant physicians to you by way of podcasts and films and all the stuff that I do. But it’s also on you as a witness to this societal crime, if you will letting so many people slip through the cracks to share this information, to get this information into the hands, the phones, the ears. Of the folks that may need to hear this, help the people in your world who may be suffering. By sharing the podcast by just reaching out and say, Hey, I listened to something, there’s this. Really smart doctor on this podcast that was talking about hormones. That there may be enough to change that person’s life, because information is what liberates. So you having listened to this have an active role. In the Goodwill of the universe by passing on this information to help another human. Hope that you do. So I’ll see you in the next podcast.

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Dr. Pedram Shojai

NY Times Best Selling author and film maker. Taoist Abbot and Qigong master. Husband and dad. I’m here to help you find your way and be healthy and happy. I don’t want to be your guru…just someone who’ll help point the way. If you’re looking for a real person who’s done the work, I’m your guy. I can light the path and walk along it with you but can’t walk for you.